Income tax is imposed by a number of Commonwealth Acts of parliament. Broadly, the legislative regime covering Australian taxation law comprises the following federal Acts:
- Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)
- Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth)
- Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Cth)
- Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth)
- A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth).
There are many guides to assist taxpayers to prepare their own income tax returns. For current information, consult the Australian Taxation Office’s individual tax return instructions, which are available free of charge at any Australian Taxation Office (ATO), at newsagents, on the ATO’s website or via the ATO’s online and telephone publication ordering services. The ATO has trained volunteers at most branches to help with the preparation of returns.
People who are not certain of their rights should seek advice from accountants and other tax agents, who will prepare very simple individual tax returns for a small fee.
Fees increase with the complexity of the return and are tax deductible if the accountant or agent has been registered by the ATO.
Ask your tax agent for a copy of your completed return so you are not obliged to return to the same tax agent the following year.